In a speech in South Africa in 1890 Mahatma Gandhi said this:
“A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption of our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider of our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favour by serving him. He is doing us a favour by giving us the opportunity to do so.” Thus a Consumer is the King of the market. Identifying this importance, every year on 15 March we observe World Consumer Rights Day ( WCRD).
If a consumer is offered inferior products, if prices are exorbitant, if drugs are unsafe or worthless, if the consumer is unable to choose on an informed basis, then his Rupee is wasted, his health and safety may be threatened, and national interest suffers it will create a negative impact in today’s scenario. WCRD is an opportunity to promote the basic rights of all consumers, for demanding that those rights are respected and protected, and for protesting the market abuses and social injustices which undermine them. In India Consumer Protection Act 1986, is established in support to safeguard consumer’s rights.
8 Basic Rights under the Act are:
1. The right to safety
2. The right to be informed
3. The right to choose
4. The right to be heard
5. The right to satisfaction of basic needs
6. The right to redress
7. The right to consumer education
8. The right to a healthy environment.
Real life implementation of the rights:
In recent times, in real estate sector, many builders in Delhi NCR are delaying the possession of their residential projects. The buyers have to bear double cost: one of EMI, secondly rent cost. They can are now filing a civil suit for the infringement of their agreement. Going further they can also file the petition before the District or State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission under Consumer Protection Act and can call for compensation against delay and can also call for the allotment of house in an alternative sight.
In the case of Sahara Housing Project, many consumers were ordered by the commission for the allotment of alternative sites after it was found that the Sahara is delaying its projects unnecessary for the last four years.
The day is organized by Consumers International (CI), which is the world federation of consumer groups that serves as the only independent and authoritative global voice for consumers and was founded in 1960. Currently it has over 250 member organizations in 120 countries around the world.
The Theme for WCRD 2015 is Healthy diets. Unhealthy diets are linked to overweight and obesity, high blood pressure, high blood glucose and high cholesterol. It really is time the world wake up to the price of unhealthy diets.
As part of a package of measures required protecting and promoting healthy diets, CI is calling for mandatory -
1. Reduce Salt Consumption: CI is calling for the introduction of national targets for the gradual reduction of salt content in processed foods and for education, communication and public awareness programmes to encourage a reduction in salt intake.
2. Reducing sugar consumption: CI is calling for the introduction of national targets for the gradual reduction of sugar content in processed foods and for the use of fiscal tools to encourage a reduction in consumption of high sugar products.
3. Nutrition labeling on pre-packaged foods: CI is calling for mandatory, nationally-standardized nutrition labeling on all pre-packaged food and beverages in all countries. This should include the provision of interpretive, front-of-pack nutrition labeling that empowers consumers to make healthy food choices quickly and easily.
4. Healthy Food In Schools: CI is calling for schools to be free from unhealthy food marketing; the provision of safe, free drinking water in all schools; rules on nutritional content of food sold in canteens, vending machines etc; purchasing and commissioning activities to promote the consumption of healthier foods and limit the consumption of unhealthy foods.
Thus in 2015, WCRD is aiming to overcome one of the most dangerous crisis i.e Food Crisis. We as students should also pledge to work towards consuming healthy food and keeping our mind and body healthy.